The word “discipleship” has been a word that God has re-introduced into our vocabulary in recent years as leaders and as a parish. We weren’t clear on how we went about making disciples let alone how successful we were in producing followers of Jesus. We have begun a journey where the ‘how to’s’ of discipleship have become central to our thinking, which has meant re-thinking and transitioning from traditional church management to discipling others to discover what God is saying and leading. 3DM materials, online coaching, and a recent workshop in Canberra have been crucial to this journey. We are very thankful for faithful practitioners who share from their past and present experience to mentor and teach folk like us who are on this journey.
Five years ago, our church was struggling.
We lacked direction, healthy leadership, and our membership was dwindling. We were losing energy and close to disbanding. We were present in our local communities, yet didn’t know how to “make disciples.” Mission without discipleship — how did we end up here? It was a sobering realisation and we found ourselves repenting as a church. Lost at sea, we clung to Jesus to show us the way!
Through a series of ‘circumstances,' we connected with 3DM and the Learning Community process. We were wary at first, wanting to build a discipleship culture, but in a way that respected our context and our history. The amazing people at 3DM understood our needs perfectly. They trained us, coached us, and walked alongside us for four years. They helped us to discover “what God was saying” and kept us accountable (in a loving way) to ensure that we did something about this!
Nowadays, things are very different. We have a clear vision and direction. We have a growing number of faithful, competent leaders who lead within their personal calling. We have two new “missional communities” that serve and share like an extended family. Lives are also being transformed — we have seen friends become followers, and long-term believers deepen in faith. Now of course, there are still challenges and frustrations ahead of us, yet we don’t feel lost anymore. We are equipped to “hear and obey” Jesus in everyday life, as He does the work of building His church.
We recommend Cascade Network, and it's work teaching 3DM tools and principles to any church who is hungry for change; to build a discipleship culture, a leadership culture, birth missional communities and, over time, a kingdom movement. It all begins with discipleship — the slow, messy, hard and humble work of "making disciples who make disciples!"
We introduced 3DM tools and principles to our college several years ago. We already have seen some pretty cool things happen, especially amongst the staff. It really has given new vigour to listen to Jesus and to follow through, and this has a direct impact on how we are running Worldview. The coaching we received was in many ways key to the redevelopment of our program. At Worldview we train missionaries, who by definition are “disciple makers,” which means students and staff need to be disciples first and then know how to make disciples. In 3dm we have found a transferable and adaptable method of doing both these things, and that is something many other systems do not offer.